Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs Kevin Washburn today announced that the Interior Department is seeking public comment on a proposed rule that would allow the Secretary of the Interior to consider petitions from Alaska Native tribes to take land into trust.
“This is a first step in a critically important process,” said AFN President Julie Kitka. “It is not only vital that Native people are heard in the public comment period, but also that Native people have a seat at the table as policy is developed.”
The Department will host a series of consultation sessions with tribal representatives on the proposal to amend Part 151, beginning at the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) Mid-Year Conference, June 8-11, 2014, in Anchorage.
Kitka said, “AFN will be fully engaged throughout the rule-making process. We first must ensure our community understands this issue and has a chance to discuss it internally. The proposed rule will be reviewed at AFN’s next quarterly board meeting in May.”